Every year Spink
puts together a fine selection of quality material for the Autographs, Historical Documents, Ephemera and Postal History sale. This year the Autographs sale will be held on the 11th July 2017. The sale abounds in interesting items, including: One of the rarest wartime signed photographs of Winston Churchill, two royal seals from iconic female monarchs, and a stunning array of intimate letters between Edward, The Prince of Wales and Mrs Dudley Ward.
The star lot is 963, an original studio silver print photograph by Cecil Beaton of Winston Churchill, taken in the Prime Minister's study, 10 Downing Street, Whitehall. It is an iconic and historic image signed and dated "Winston S. Churchill / Jan 1, 1942" in fountain pen ink during his momentous visit to Washington D.C. to meet with President Roosevelt. Churchill and Roosevelt got on very well and ate lunch together every day. Churchill left for England on January 14, 1942, flying home via Bermuda. The bond between president and prime ministerthe trust that would win the warwas forged during that trip. Roosevelt, in the now-quiet White House, found he missed Churchills company. Lot 963, estimated: £9,000 to £10,000
The sale also contains lot 803, a Patent, grant or Deed under the great seal of England of Mary I (1553-54), dated in the first year of her reign. The 'Great Seal' first appeared in England during the reign of Edward the Confessor. It was originally the seal of the King, however, with the growth of English government, the seal soon became used by the Chancery as a means of validating laws. By the late Twelfth Century, documents were folded and wax seals were affixed to ensure both secrecy and authenticity.
As the power of the 'Great Seal' grew, the Sovereign found it necessary to adopt his own Private Seal, and so government kept the 'Great Seal', which Parliament still uses to this day.
This document is a deed to an estate in Shropshire; it lists two previous medieval owners as Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester and Hertford and Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Hereford. On the reverse is written, "Belonging to Lord Clive's Estate at Oakley Park", which is in Shropshire and probably refers to Robert, Lord Clive (of India), 1725-74. The vellum document bears the Great Seal of Mary I attached with green and white string (the Tudor livery colours). A magnificent and rare document from this Queen's short reign. Lot 803, estimated: £1,000 to £1,500
From a medieval Queen to a modern one, lot 964A bears the First Great Seal of Queen Elizabeth II, in vermilion-red wax with yellow and burgundy string with red wax. Each seal is made from the solid silver matrix designed for Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. As the original wax pendant seals were very fragile, today's seals are made from heated thermoplastic which is poured into the silver mould and pneumatically pressed - thus leaving an imprint of the Matrix design.
The Great Seal matrix is used to create seals for a range of documents requiring Royal approval, including letters patent, Royal proclamations, commissions, some writs (such as writs for the election of Members of Parliament), and the documents which give power to sign and ratify treaties. Each year more than 100 documents pass under the Great Seal. Lot 964A, estimated: £500 to £600
From important historical items to scandalous private lives, lot 945 is an exciting selection of the private letters from Edward, Prince of Wales to Mrs Freda Dudley Ward, with whom he was conducting an affair. Much of this was partially published and illustrated in "Letters From a Prince March 1918 - January 1921", edited by Rupert Godfrey, London 1998. This selection represents a rare opportunity to acquire items of great Royal personal and historic interest.
The Prince of Wales wrote obsessively to her during the course of many years, often enclosing both signed and annotated photographs together with his letters to her, from wherever he was, both at home and while travelling through the Empire1919 (25-26 January) from The Royal Palace, Brussels. In one particularly emotional letter, Prince Edward expresses his devotion to "My very own darling beloved little one". He refers to the recent death of his youngest brother Prince John, "... how mad I feel about it all and how mad I was that H.M. wouldn't let Moi return to England for a few days to my poor Mama, who tho' really relieved must feel it all, and to Toi darling; but he's a hard man particularly to Moi and so hopelessly inhuman sometimes!!" Lot 945, estimated: £1,200 to £1,500.